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Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

by Gregory Maguire

Memory and the Past Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

"I was in no state to know what was happening to me, and I spent about a year in a deathly sleep. It's just possible I brought a child to term and delivered it. ... I have no motherly warmth toward the boy" – she gulped, in case this was no longer true – "and I don't feel as if I've ever gone through the experience of bearing a child." (

Elphaba raises a really interesting point in this somewhat soap opera-ish (or Kill Bill Vol. I) plot twist. For her, it seems that being a mother is tied to certain necessary memories and experiences.

Quote #5

Life outside the cloister seemed to cloud up with such particularity – the shape of her seven years past was already being crowded out. All that undifferentiated time, washing terra-cotta floors without dipping her hands in the bucket – it took hours to do a single room, but no floor was ever cleaner. (

The descriptions of Elphaba's time in a nunnery are really powerful, especially the idea of "undifferentiated time." For seven years of her life, time pretty much came to a halt.

Quote #6

But surely evil was beyond proof, just as the Kumbric Witch was beyond the grasp of knowable history? (

This idea of "knowable history" basically sums up Wicked, which constantly asks the question: how much can we really know a person?

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